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FREE É Kushiel's Dart Í The Land Of Terre D Ange Is A Place Of Unsurpassing Beauty And Grace It Is Said That Angels Found The Land And Saw It Was Good And The Ensuing Race That Rose From The Seed Of Angels And Men Live By One Simple Rule Love As Thou Wilt Ph Dre N Delaunay Is A Young Woman Who Was Born With A Scarlet Mote In Her Left Eye Sold Into Indentured Servitude As A Child, Her Bond Is Purchased By Anafiel Delaunay, A Nobleman With Very A Special Mission And The First One To Recognize Who And What She Is One Pricked By Kushiel S Dart, Chosen To Forever Experience Pain And Pleasure As OnePh Dre Is Trained Equally In The Courtly Arts And The Talents Of The Bedchamber, But, Above All, The Ability To Observe, Remember, And Analyze Almost As Talented A Spy As She Is Courtesan, Ph Dre Stumbles Upon A Plot That Threatens The Very Foundations Of Her Homeland Treachery Sets Her On Her Path Love And Honor Goad Her Further And In The Doing, It Will Take Her To The Edge Of Despair And Beyond Hateful Friend, Loving Enemy, Beloved Assassin They Can All Wear The Same Glittering Mask In This World, And Ph Dre Will Get But One Chance To Save All That She Holds Dear Set In A World Of Cunning Poets, Deadly Courtiers, Heroic Traitors, And A Truly Machiavellian Villainess, This Is A Novel Of Grandeur, Luxuriance, Sacrifice, Betrayal, And Deeply Laid Conspiracies Not Since Dune Has There Been An Epic On The Scale Of Kushiel S Dart A Massive Tale About The Violent Death Of An Old Age, And The Birth Of A New This book is so overwrought, so full of tangled, convoluted prose, that I found it hard to take seriously The world, instead of being built up as an original creation, seems to be taken fairly whole cloth from the French Court of Louis XIV I know everybody steals, but the best writers steal the most, and I could have used somedepth of inspiration.Then, of course, there is the sex The constant rampant, submissive, fetishy, pain pleasure sex Sex is fine, even porn is fine, but the sheer redundant volume of the stuff made it less than exciting, after a while mostly because it all seems to come from the same angle, the same point of view.It s a problem in most fantasy the author wants to write about what interests them, and apparently, only that I always appreciate an author a bitwhen they are able to put in some conflict, try to provide a few sides to the story, and get out of their own heads a little When an author is truly skilled, you ll come out not knowing which side they re on.But that s not this book This book is self indulgent, and makes no apologies, and there is something I can appreciate about that It s not like the eye rolling fetishism of most male fantasy authors, like Goodkind or John Norman, whose sexuality always feels confused, conflicted, and furtive Carey seems to know what she wants and doesn t let anything get in her way.Unfortunately, it was all too much for me The purple prose, the repetitive sex scenes, the single source world, and the sheer length of the thing Unfortunately, Carey and I do not share a fetish, because mine at least when it comes to books is novelty, and while she may be vastly different from her modern fantasy contemporaries, in the end, I found her book was too similar to itself.My Fantasy Book Suggestions Did you cop a big eyeful of that That s right Those Tortoises are totally boning Now, I m sure there s many a tortoise out there who would find that image very appealing Unfortunately, I don t.And this is my BIG PROBLEM with Kushiel s Dart.Not that it s full of tortoise sex, mind you There s almost no tortoise sex at all It s that the sex in this book just does nothing for me In fact, I d probably enjoy tortoise sex .I m hardly going to elaborate on my proclivities in the bedroom It s enough to say that I don t find abuse, extreme domination and severe pain or the threat of death to be sexy.The main character in this story does and thus we are at an impasse Only in this case I can t poison her in a clever battle of the wills, so that makes our impasse infinitely less fun.I ve read one BDSM story before but the difference was that this story was about two consenting adults both in a position to pull out hyuk hyuk and both of them actually liking each other and eventually falling in love Now that story was really damn sexy.Phedre s first sexual partner just likes hitting a lot and wants to punish Phedre s master by beating her up How is that sexy That his fist got sore smashing into her face is supposed to endear us to this is kind of thing Now the story goes out of its way to both explain that Phedre has a biological spiritual imperative to enjoy pain and studies into the human mind show that people s pleasure pain receptors can go seriously squiff that s the proper medical term, naturally during sex but c mon My problem is that SHE S A DAMN CHILD Sex slave fantasies are all good if that s your thing but this is a book that glorifies the whole children being prepped for a life as a sex slave thing.In fact, I refuse to like something that has gained pedobear s seal of approval Because this book totally has itUnfortunately, this book loses most of its charm when you start to analyse things through the haze of lust filled prose.Delauney turns from an intelligent, shrewd, caring father figure into the pimpmaster of prostitution training children up from the age of ten to be his little sex spies Phedre becomes a very confused, abused child who grows into a woman trying to justify her abuse as decent and proper and performed by someone who was merely saving her.The whole thing becomes a really sad wank fantasy The thing is, I usually LIKE wank fantasies But this one just didn t do it for me.That s not to say that the writing and atmosphere wasn t fantastic and that the world building wasn t spectacular The political intrigue was fascinating and this novel would have been saved had Phedre not started the novel as a hardcore BDSM child I m hardly one to start the age old Won t Someone Please Think of the ChildrenCall That isn t what it s about It s just fun to start yelling in a crowded area.Hell, I know how sexualized kids can be just on their own without having a background of abuse and all that It s all about experimentation It s about developing their own sexuality.I just don t want to read about it EVER Little girls play with their barbies and their my little ponies and they don t masturbate or want to be whipped so they can cum Ever Not in Katland It s like the Tortoise thing If you like Tortoise sex then you re going to want to read a book about that If you like sex slave wank fantasies about being raised from infancy as a BDSM enthusiast then this is for you.Unfortunately, it s just not for me.Edit to add Wowthere are Fan Tattoos Just a disclaimer here This will be a very difficult review to write In order to truly review this book, I have to talk about my own views on things and how books affect me personally I am opening myself up here, which always makes me squirm If you are reading this review and you don t agree with my beliefs on things, that s totally fine But, I am not going to deny how I feel, because that is very important to me when I review a book, since I read books emotionally and not from a detached standpoint Having said that, let s get this show on the road.I can think of a list of reasons why I should not have liked this book, and I will start there 1 I really dislike long books As I told a friend on here, I am a hit it and quit it reader meaning, I like to read shorter to moderate length and occasionally longer books, get them read, and move onto the next book This book was a massive 901 pages 2 Prostitution and paid sex is something that I absolutely detest the thought of It squicks me out that someone would pay for sex or have sex for money or financial support livelihood I generally avoid this content like the plague, although a big part of my nature is to occasionally challenge myself and my perceptions of the world It s good for me, even if the process is painful at times This book has a heroine who is a courtesan, although she is calledugly terms that I don t use Not only that, her prostitution is a form of worship and honor to one of her dieties if you want to call Fallen angels dieties.3 I don t like books where the main characters sleep with a lot of people during the book Promiscuity and sleeping around is another area that I am just not comfortable with I especially don t like reading about sex with no love emotional bond This book was kind of interesting in that Phedre s sex is a form of worship She didn t love most of the people she was intimate with, but she loved Elua, Naamah, and Kushiel, and that was expressed through her sex with her patrons The genesis of the sacred nature of sex in this culture relates to the fact that the angel Naamah would lay with strangers to support Elua and the angels as they traveled through the Terre D Ange It s probably necessary to mention that the patron can be male or female Elua s dictate is Love as thou wilt, which eliminates any stigma to same sex relationships Although I amof a male female romance reader, I don t necessarily dislike same sex interactions, so that wasn t a huge issue for me.4 I am very vanilla about sex Meaning, I don t like reading about kinky, dark, twisted sex at all I especially don t like reading about sadomasochistic painful humiliating sex I don t understand that need and it s not something that I personally feel okay about The main character in this story is a masochist She was pricked by Kushiel who is the angel who is the keeper of Hell and punishes the lost That punishment is out of love to save their souls Phedre possessing Kushiel s Dart marks one of her dark brown eyes with a dash of red, which is a visible manifestation of her being favored or cursed to have a physiology which made pain pleasurable for her, including emotional pain which means that she got sexually aroused by being humiliated or forced or treated badly by her partner I m not going to go into detail here I think you could use your imagination I ll just leave it with two words to express my feelings Ick Factor Most of the sex scenes were very uncomfortable for me to read In the author s defense, this book has very elegant sex scenes for the subject matter Somehow, she managed to avoid them coming off as repulsive and tawdry My repulsion was based on my own comfort zones being exceeded, instead of deliberate acts of prurience on the author s part.5 I typically don t care for stories with a lot of political intrigue and situations Surprisingly, I found that I really got into that aspect of this story, and I was quite enthralled with the tangled web of conspiracies against members of the royal family and nobles I believe it was because Ms Carey did a great job of entwining Phedre into this Gordian Knot in a very intimate manner through her adoptive father, Anafiel Delaunay Phedre becomes Delaunay s bondservant, and is trained to be a master spy as well as courtesan Her skills aid him in his secret avocation to the royal family, hearing and seeing all, in the line of her duties as a courtesan.6 The whole cultural set up of this story is very different from what I am used to Surprisingly, this part was the easiest thing to get past When I read fantasy, I expect that the author will build her own world from the ground up, and that might include other religious beliefs It s easier for me if the author founds a whole new religious world divorced from the real world I can easily separate myself from what I know and accept the concepts from the story and read it with a fresh mind In this book, Ms Carey takes a left turn from Christianity, and creates a world in which the main diety worshipped, Elua, is the son of Jesus blood from when he was wounded on the cross and its union with Mother Earth The other members of the pantheon are angels that chose to fall to accompany Elua in his exile In other words, turning their back on God to follow Elua The people with these beliefs are called D Angelines, because they live in the country founded by Elua and his Angels called Terre D Ange Land of the Angel in French Christianity still exists in the world, and its practitioners are called Yeshuites, after Jesus Hebrew name of Yeshua I believe there are also Muslims, but they are called Akkadians The people who correspond to the Celts and Picts of Alba Britain and Eire Ireland have their own beliefs, and the Skaldi, who are like Norsemen, worship the Norse pantheon Even though it was pretty different, I thought it was a pretty creative cultural genesis that Ms Carey accomplished in this story.Yes, that s a lot of reasons why I shouldn t have liked this book Despite these things, I loved this book It was fascinating It kept my interest I cared about the characters Phedre was a heroine that I loved I didn t like her assignations, and I would sort of roll my eyes when she took another one, much like Joscelin did But, I liked her as a person I could see that she was being true to herself, and I couldn t fault her for that I loved how she came from very humble origins and made something wonderful of herself I loved her loyalty and her caring heart I loved how clever she was She used every thing she had been taught and all her assets to accomplish what needed to be done Even though I didn t always like what she did, I respect why she did it It was profound to see how her view of herself and her place in the world changed People looked down on her for being a whore , but she was a great spymaster, a diplomat, and an incredible tactitian I cheered for her to find her rightful place in her world, because she earned that after all she d suffered and lost I loved Joscelin as well Although he was a bit judgmental at times, so was Phedre towards him, but in a different way It was very clear how devoted to her he was, and he was very true to his beliefs, following Cassiel, the angel who still loved God, but felt that he had to follow Elua out of loyalty I admired that he made sacrifices to follow his beliefs, but his love for Phedre often caused him to break his vows, which in a way showed how true to following Cassiel he was Even though he was not the main character, my mind always went back to him, wanting to see what he was doing and how he reacted to the situations around him All the characters were real and lifelike, some in a good way, some in a bad way But, there weren t any disposable characters in this story, even if they played small roles And when some of the characters I grew to love got harmed and died, it made for painful reading At first, I had a lot of trouble with all the names of the characters and people, and countries But, after a while, it started to make sense, and I was able to connect them to an existing frame of reference pretty well I think it was pretty brilliantly conceived The various peoples were extremely culturally distinct, and I really appreciated the time that Ms Carey took to explore their cultures It was interesting how the D Angelines had a lot of cultural superiority that they had to get past, in order to face a huge threat from within and from the warlike, intimidating Skaldi race.What surprised me was that I found the military aspects very fascinating Maybe I shouldn t be surprised, because I ve always had an admiration for warriors and the culture of warriors I thought that seeing the battles and war unfold through Phedre s eyes was very interesting I liked seeing how she used her particular skill set to aid her country in winning the war The sacrifices she made for her country were very admirable She showed that although she wasn t a warrior in the traditional sense, her heart was that of a warrior, willing to give everything to win and prevail, even if that involved personal sacrifice and surrender.This was a deep book It took me through a gamut of emotions, many not comfortable at all It truly was epic, and I really didn t get bored, surprisingly considering its length and complexity There were some very unpalatable aspects to this story, and the values seemed very alien to what I feel I hold sacred However, underneath there is a commonality Love is sacrifice, love is giving When something is important to a person, one devotes herself to it Even though the creeds of the people in this book seemed alien, I could identify with the idea of holding something sacred in life, and that dictating one s actions As one can imagine, it s not easy to sum up my thoughts on a book that is so long and rather complicated I think I have done as best as I can, and I won t make this review any longer than necessary I have to be honest and say I highly doubt I ll keep reading this series It s a huge investment of my time and energy when books are this long And since it took me to some uncomfortable places, I m not sure I want to go through that process anywith the following books In my mind, I want to think of Phedre and Joscelin being happy, able to find a compromise that works for both of them, and having a great love I want to leave things that way The good thing is, this book is a keeper, and will have fond memories of these characters who came to mean so much to me Perhaps I will reread this book one day to revisit this fascinating world of the D Angelines. I enjoyed this a lot at first, in a stupid trashy way, but got bored after a while, which is why I took so long to finish it I think it reaches its height of trashy fun in Terre d Ange all the bits with Phedre living with the Skaldic tribes, getting away from them in the wintry tundra etc etc drag a lot for me Maybe it s just cos swept away by a barbarian isn t my kink.Carey has a habit of saying really obvious things in a hilariously portentous way, e.g.I asked him to pass the butter, for though as one marked by Kushiel s Dart, my greatest pleasure lies in pain, yet I am D Angeline, and appreciate the finer things in life Golden butter, springing from the roseate udders of the exquisite cattle of L Agnace, was a pure joy I had neither strength nor inclination to deny It s the butter you desire said Joscelin, my beloved, brave Cassiline Well I knew the agonies that tore him even to acknowledge my desires, for the Cassiline brethren are trained to asceticism Though they appreciate the beauty that is their birthright, as any born on Elua s blessed land must, the beauty they are drawn to is stern and cold, allowing not for butter Yes, said I and truly, it broke my heart to say it.He passed the butter, but I could tell with by one glance at his white face, still and beautiful as suffering carved into marble, that it cost him much I do not think his heart could grievethan mine did, that day when I asked him to pass the butter.This isn t even that great a parody, cos that s exactly how she writes.I did really like the worldbuilding, with all these prettily named AU versions of European countries I think probably my favourite character was Hyacinthe he was the only one who seemed to have a sense of humour.